Thursday, December 27, 2012

Creole Cakes with Sweet &Spicy Remoulade: A luscious leftover turkey recipe!

A rare holiday snow
monsoon-like rain!
When my children were younger, we enjoyed roast pterodactyl for our holiday meals.  It wasn't a real pterodactyl; it was a 25-pound turkey that filled up my oven.  It was during that time I discovered the joys of a programmable oven.  I would prepare my turkey, stuffing each cavity with fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, then plugging the cavity with a sweet onion before roasting in the oven overnight.  The programmable function allowed me to put it in the oven, set the oven to start a few hours later, and wake to a lovely turkey.  We had lots of turkey leftovers, too, so a great leftover turkey recipe was relished.  Here's our favorite, adapted from Cooking Light (actually, I took all of the light out of it!).

Creole Cakes with a Sweet and Spicy Remoulade


1/3 cup sour cream
2 T. minced green onions (my grandmother called them scallions)
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. Zatarain's Creole mustard (or Grey Poupon Dijon mustard)
1 T. sweet pickle relish (sometimes I substituted dill)
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of ground cayenne
Tiny sprinkle of gumbo file (very optional, file is an acquired taste)

Combine the sauce ingredients into a small covered bowl and chill until ready for use.


The Resident Dragon says
smoked turkey would be
delicious in this recipe, too!
2 slices bread
3 cups chopped turkey (white or dark, or both)
1/3 c. minced green onions
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 T. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 t. cajun seasoning
1 large egg
1 t. Watkins grapeseed oil

Place bread in food processor and pulse into small crumbs; measure out 1.25 cups.  Combine the turkey, scallions, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, and egg.  Stir in the breadcrumbs.  Form 8 patties (1/2 inch thick).  Heat oil in a non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet and fry patties 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total).  Each serving is 2 patties plus 2 tablespoons of sauce.  C'est bon!

From our kitchen to yours,

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Treat Genealogy: Traditional Dipped Fruit

Ready for apricots!
Chocolate-dipped dried fruit is a tradition in our house which dates back to my daughter's first Christmas.  Her older brother was feeling a little left out because of the new baby, so I decided that, together, we could prepare a treat for his pre-school teachers.  He was just over 2 years old at the time, so the treat had to be simple:  chocolate-dipped stemmed maraschino cherries.

Dipping pretzel rods
We carefully lined a cookie sheet with waxed paper, rinsed and dried the cherries, and melted the chocolate, then pulled up a chair for him to stand in.  Very carefully, he dipped an entire tray of cherries.  Somehow, his foot slipped, causing him to lose his balance, and his elbow to catch the corner of the tray.  With the edge of the counter as a fulcrum, the entire tray shot across the kitchen as if launched from a trebuchet, sticking to walls, cabinets, and appliances.  We were only able to save four cherries from the entire tray, but we packaged them carefully.  The next morning, he toddled proudly into his pre-school, bearing one cherry for each of his four teachers.

Don't forget the sprinkles!
The next year, baby sister joined in the fun, and the tradition has continued.  Both of them have their own homes now--baby sister turned 25 this year--but, tonight, together we again dipped cherries, and dried apricots, and pretzel rods, and dried pineapple, and banana chips, all festooned with various sprinkles.  And we needed that, to do that again, together.

Tempting Treats!

That's what traditions are:  things we do together.  The thing we do is not as important as the people we do it with.  Simple acts become special when we share them.

I know there will be Christmases  when we will not be able to share some of our family traditions, but I hope my children will share them with their own families, as well as make new traditions of their own.  May you find time during the holiday season to enjoy your family traditions, and create new ones.

From our kitchen to yours,

Merry Christmas!
Cheery Holiday Cherries!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cookie Genealogy: Miss Dot's Hello Dolly Squares

Luscious layers!
This week's recipe comes from a family friend by way of my aunt Sara.  Miss Dot was the county historian and even published (albeit locally) a history of the antebellum homes in the county.  When we first saw this recipe, coconut came in cans and was quite the luxury, so these were an especial treat.  The batch I just put in the oven has begun to scent the kitchen, attracting the attention of the Resident Dragon, who will lurk around until they're cool enough to eat.

By the way, Miss Dot, a former school teacher, turned 93 this year.

Hello Dolly Cookies

Sweetened condensed milk binds it together!
1 stick butter
1.25 c. crushed graham crackers
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. pecans or hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 c. shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place in baking dish in layers in order listed.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  Chill and cut into small squares.

These are very rich, so enjoy every savory bite!

What's cooking in your Savory kitchen?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Graham Cracker Brittle: Genealogy from Christmas Cookie Recipes

Graham Cracker Brittle makes a festive treat!
Food is more than mere sustenance in the South; in families and small towns, recipes can constitute almost a genealogy of the community.  Recipes nearly always are attributed to individuals and are a tangible, edible reminder of that individual:  Grandmother's Teacakes, Mrs. Malone's Apple Cake (Aunt Nonie's mother), and Miss Leora's Graham Cracker Brittle.

I mention the last recipe because I ran across some at a reception on Sunday.  While nobody could tell me if it was Miss Leora's recipe, I think it must have been.  I received the recipe in a collection my daddy's sister put together for me many years ago.  This recipe is wonderful reminder of two wonderful ladies.

Miss Leora's Graham Cracker Brittle

Line jelly roll pan with foil and prepare with cooking spray.  Line with good quality graham crackers, broken apart.  Sprinkle 1 c. chopped nuts (I prefer pecans) over top of crackers.

Mix 2 sticks melted butter and 1/2 c. white sugar.  Boil for 3 minutes, then pour over crackers.  Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees, checking frequently as these burn suddenly.

Remove from pan immediately and cool on cake racks.  Store in airtight container.  Miss Leora says they freeze well, but mine have never lasted long enough for me to find out!

Normally, I would have pictures for you, but you'll just have to trust me on this one; I'll be making at least one batch this weekend.

Happy holidays!

What's cooking in your Savory kitchen?